Link Building 101: Linkable Assets vs. Link Opportunity Types
I've found it easy in the past to confuse and conflate "linkable assets" and "link opportunity types." This post describes both of these aspects of a link building campaign, and identifies how the concepts differ so that you can better construct campaigns and more clearly consider your work.
>> Linkable Assets are anything - from people to web pages - that provide an incentive for publishers to link or mention them in some fashion. Linkable assets can include upcoming events, a contest, a writer, a subject matter expert, job openings, a free tool, a PDF, independent research, free data, in short, any person or page that creates the desire in publishers to create a link. In Linkable Asset Inventory: A Starting Point For New Link Building Campaigns, we described a process for systematically discovering all of an organization's linkable assets.
Uses for Linkable Assets in Campaign Design: The value of identifying your linkable assets prior to a link building campaign is that you can assess what types of sites, and what types of opportunities these assets open up for you. For example if you organization puts on teaching or training events around the country, then the events themselves are linkable assets and the related Link Opportunity Type is local events listing sites.
>> Link Opportunity Types are the opportunities for links in your keyword space. Link opportunity types include things like guest posts, directory listings, links pages, review sites, forum or blog comments, event listing sites, etcetera. The link opportunity types that are most relevant to you right now are those associated with your existing linkable assets. However, there are typically far more opportunities in your space than what your assets currently allow. In 7 Ways to Measure the Link Opportunities in Your Keyword Space we discuss methods for assessing link opportunities.
Uses for Link Opportunity Types in Campaign Design: Identifying all the Link Opportunity Types that exist in your keyword space helps to guide you towards linkable assets that are highly linkable. You can discover new link opportunity types in your keyword market by constructing queries as well by investigating competitor backlink profiles. Further, it's important to remember that a single linkable asset, for example a blog, can open up multiple opportunity types, such as blog directories, blog rolls, guest posting, interviews, and more.